Research Partnerships for New Zealand Health Delivery

Professor Gillian Whalley
Unitec Institute of Technology, in partnership with Waitemata DHB, Counties Manukau DHB and the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand
New echocardiography reference ranges for Aotearoa
18 months

Lay summary

Ultrasound scans of the heart have been used for decades to diagnose and manage heart disease. In order to identify heart disease, a series of measurements are taken and compared to normal reference values. The medical professionals who perform and request these scans rely on this comparison to determine the health of their patients. These reference values are based on historic data from the American population (mostly European) but we now know that people of different ethnicities (e.g., European, Black American, Asian) have different reference values. We currently have no normal reference values for Māori or Pacific peoples, although both groups suffer the highest rates of heart disease in New Zealand. This project will create a New Zealand reference range that includes Māori and Pacific peoples' values for the first time. This will lead to better diagnosis and treatment of heart disease in all New Zealanders, including Māori and Pacific peoples.

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